Dame Diana Rigg, one of the most venerable presences on the stage and screen, has passed at the age of 82. With a career spanning eight decades, the actress starred in 70 projects throughout her career. Rigg remained culturally relevant from her first big break was on the hit 1960s British spy series The Avengers as Emma Peel opposite Patrick Macnee as John Steed to the HBO megahit fantasy epic Game of Thrones as matriarch Lady Olenna Tyrell. Though The Avengers would become an enormous hit, she didn't reap the benefits as her male co-stars did in pay and had to fight for her equal share during her 51-episode run from 1965-1968. Her status as a femme fatale carried over as Tracy in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969) opposite Bond actor George Lazenby.
Diana Rigg's Accomplishments
"She was a beautiful kind and generous human being that enhanced the lives of all that knew her as well as a great actress. She leaves a great void in my heart," said Lionel Larner, Rigg's longtime friend, and talent agent (via Variety). Rigg won an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Special in Rebecca (1997) and nominated eight times, four for Game of Thrones. A member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, the actress also won a Tony Award in 1982 for her stage performance in Medea. For her work in The Avengers, Rigg received a special BAFTA Award along with Honor Blackman, Joanna Lumley, and Linda Thorson, who all costarred with Macnee during his nine-year run as Steed. Rigg did not appear in the 1998 feature adaptation of The Avengers that starred Ralph Fiennes and Uma Thurman. Many from across the industry paid tribute to the late actress from Edgar Wright, Mark Gatiss, Stephen Merchant, Dana Delany, and several of her Game of Thrones costars.
Be a dragon.
The realm will always remember Diana Rigg.
— Game of Thrones (@GameOfThrones) September 10, 2020
Dame Diana Rigg . She always raised the bar with her incredible talent, intelligence and wit. An absolute joy and honor to work with. May her soul Rest In Peace https://t.co/BC4annah1H
— Nikolaj CosterWaldau (@nikolajcw) September 10, 2020
Diana Rigg was just wonderful. But you all knew that already. Everybody did. Very sad news. #dianarigg
— John Bradley (@johnbradleywest) September 10, 2020
Rest in peace. A remarkable wonderful and enormously talented human being. https://t.co/50ZXLEe9vI
— liam cunningham (@liamcunningham1) September 10, 2020
What to say about Diana Rigg? I could talk about her incredible career, but for now I'll just say as a lifelong fan, it was beyond a thrill to work with her on her final film. She exceeded all my highest expectations, so blazingly talented, fiery & funny. Miss you already Dame D. pic.twitter.com/3crtUsJhla
— edgarwright (@edgarwright) September 10, 2020
It was my great joy and privilege to have known Diana Rigg. From three slightly hysterical months at the Old Vic in 'All About Mother' to writing The Crimson Horror for Diana and her wonderful daughter Rachael. Flinty, fearless, fabulous. There will never be another. RIP pic.twitter.com/2EGc4MVx0S
— Mark Gatiss (@Markgatiss) September 10, 2020
RIP Dame Diana Rigg. Great actress and good sport – lest we forget, she let Daniel Radcliffe flick a condom on her head in Extras. pic.twitter.com/scFC8KPlZz
— Stephen Merchant (@StephenMerchant) September 10, 2020
For a girl in the 1960's, Diana Rigg was the embodiment of power and allure. To see her on stage in Medea 30 years later was sheer terror. And the icing was Game of Thrones. She outplayed them all. A great grand actor. 🖤 pic.twitter.com/9XjCQh1qmi
— Dana Delany (@DanaDelany) September 10, 2020